If you really want to understand how huge this update is then please take a moment to remember what our enema routine has been.
We use a cone enema because Mason’s anus is really weak and doesn’t hold fluid in well. So what you’re looking at is a bag to hold fluid, a tube, and a white cone on the end of the tube. We use water and mineral oil currently for the fluid.
There is a lock that slides open and shut to control the flow of the solution. The cone keeps things from coming out. Why is that important? Well, we want the fluid to have time to go up through the whole colon. The cone mostly keeps Mason’s bottom from leaking.
The process takes time and will take longer the older he gets. For nearly two years we've laid Mason on his side on a towel right outside our tiny bathroom. We hang the bag inside the bathroom on a hook. Then we put just part of the cone tip into his bottom and hold it there. Open the lock and let the fluid in, then close the lock and wait, holding that cone in place. Our wait time is about 10-15 minutes. During this time we need to keep Mason happy laying on his side, and we have to keep holding the cone in place. It’s a good thing he’s so easygoing! This has become a special tv time for Mason. He can choose a cartoon to watch on the Kindle Fire while he's laying here.
When our timer beeps we remove the cone and move quickly to the toilet. That means standing up, picking Mason up, and setting him on the toilet. It is sometimes a very messy moment...ahem. We need to keep Mason on the toilet until he poops. (Isn't that a cute photo? It's from a year ago!) When he is older he will learn to use his abdominal muscles to try to bear down. For now the most effective ways to get him to engage that abdomen are:
- Laughing like crazy.
Another challenge is that Mason doesn't have the balance to sit on here safely on his own. Daddy or I sit on a low stool right in front of him and hold on to him. It's pretty awkward because of the small bathroom (there is a sink right behind you) and it gets more awkward when you add in the fact that I'm pregnant and growing rapidly.
NOW you can understand why today's change is going to be wonderful on several fronts. Here is our new setup:
Other wonderful things about our new setup:
- The arms! This folding toilet setup has armrests that Mason can use when he's feeling unsteady. If he tips to the side he catches himself on the armrests. It's a beautiful thing.
- I can sit on a taller stool, making it a more comfortable process for me or another adult to do.
Oh, and if you made it this far did you notice Mason's new black glasses? I'll post about those soon.